November 11, 2008

John Looney Clipping

This one doesn't need any explanation.  I thought some of you might want a copy for your files.

November 6, 2008

Baker Genealogy

The Baker's are another branch of Jim Schell's family tree.  The following is an article from the March 2007 Issue of The Kentucky Explorer.  I have added some photos, some links to Wikipedia articles and shown Jim's direct ancestors in bold print. 

The Bakers of Leslie County, Kentucky, have an interesting and varied history in the United States of America. The following information has been gleaned from history, official documents, interviews, and even some from the Internet like Once again, as in the article I did on the Joseph's of Leslie County, I must credit my wife, Pauline, who has spent too many hours to count in her research. I used her research plus mine, along with personal interviews to complete this article. I don't guarantee this is 100 percent accurate because memories fail, some individuals have axes to grind, and census takers have very poor penmanship. However, any information that is suspect has been excluded or explained in the article. If you find something you feel is suspect, I urge you to check it out yourself.

The story begins in Kent, England, in 1422 with the birth of John Baker. He later married Mary Hyde and had a son, Simon.
Simon Baker, born 1442 in Feversham, England, married Mary Broom and had a son, Jacob.
Jacob Baker, born 1475 married Abigail Baker and had a son, John, in 1496.
John Baker married Elizabeth Dinley and settled in Trentenden, Kent, England.
Their son, Christopher Baker, born in 1515 later married Dorythe Thomsone and had a son, George.
George Baker, born 1557 married Anna Swaine and had a son, Alexander Thomas Baker.
Alexander Thomas Baker, born in 1573 married Frances Briggs Pendleton, widow of Francis Pendleton and had seven children. They were: John, born 1600; Alexander Nathaniel, born 1607; Henry, born 1610; Alice, born 1611; Mary, born 1612; Ann, born 1613; and Winneford, born 1614. Upon Frances' death he married Alice Jervis but had no offspring with her.

Alexander Nathaniel Baker was born near London, England, in 1607. He married his wife, Elizabeth Ann Farrar or Flourney, in 1631, and during their marriage had 12 children. Elizabeth was born in London in 1632, and Christine was born in 1634. The remainder were born in America.
At some point in time, before leaving England, Alexander went into the cordage business and was quite successful. Cordage is rope and there was great need for it in the days of sail. Sails are attached to masts, spars, and braces by ropes, and then the masts themselves have to be held up by more ropes. A schooner or barque, considered small ships of the day, used thousands of feet of rope, and rope was always breaking and needing repaired or replaced. No ship would leave the harbor without a large supply of rope or cordage.
Edward Winslow Alexander and his family departed England in 1635 on their own ship, the Elizabeth Ann (also known as The Elizabeth and the Lizzy Ann in documents). Besides his family, he brought Clemon Chapman and William Swayna, two of his employees at his Cordage Manufacturing Factory. His ship also held his equipment to set up his cordage business, and furniture for his friend, Kenelm Winslow, brother to Edward Winslow who had come over on the Mayflower. Kenelm had come to Massachusetts a few years earlier, and he will play a prominent part in the Baker history later on.
The Elizabeth Ann landed at Plymouth Colony, located just south of what is now Boston. He was greeted by William Bradford, a friend as well as governor of Plymouth Colony; however, they soon parted company due to irreconcilable religious differences. Baker was a Baptist and Bradford was more a Calvinist. Baker moved north to the Boston area and set up his cordage business and lived in that vicinity for the remainder of his life.
He sired ten more children with his wife, Elizabeth. They were: Alexander, born January 15, 1635; Samuel, born January 16, 1638; John, born June 20, 1640; Joshua, born April 30,1642; Hannah, born July 29, 1644; William, born May 15, 1647; Joseph, born April 8,1649; Sara, born May25,1651;Benjamin,born July 30, 1652; and Josiah, born February 26, 1654.
Alexander was quite successful and well-thought-of in the community He served as Clerk of the Market from March 1666 to March 1667. In 1674 he was discharged from taking further training with the militia because he owned his own weapons. He was made a constable in April 1676, and at that point in history few ordinary citizens served in offices of trust. Rather, those were restricted to men of property like Alexander. He and his family were accepted into the Boston Church on October 4, 1645, and all his children were baptized. It is not known if he sold his cordage business or branched out into making collars, but he is listed as a collar maker upon his death. These collars were probably leather collars for draft animals.
Alexander died between February 18, 1684 (the date of his last will), and May 1, 1685, (when the will was probated). He left seven surviving children. They were: John, Joshua, William, Josiah, Elizabeth Baker Watkins, Christina Baker Roberts, and Sarah Baker Wales. He left all of those five shillings, except William to whom he left the business because William had worked with him and learned the trade.

Samuel is the next progenitor of the Leslie County Bakers. I feel there is some controversy here. The records of the Boston Church shows a Samuel Baker dying at age seven, and he is not listed as one of the Alexander's heirs in the will.  He could have predeceased his father. He could also have been disinherited. Samuel would have been 46 at his father's death. Additionally, there are in excess of 100 items quoting dozens of sources that place this Samuel as the son of Alexander Baker. Readers will have to choose, but remember; the Samuel written about in this article lived in Boston in the 1600s and is the progenitor of the Bakers in Eastern Kentucky.

Samuel Baker was born January 16, 1638, in Boston. He married Eleanor Winslow in Marshfield, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, on December 29, 1656. She was the daughter of Kenelm Winslow. Samuel and Eleanor had ten children by their marriage. They were: Kenelm, born 1657; Lydia, born 1659; Elizabeth, born 1661; Alice and Eleanor, twins, born 1663; Mary, born 1667; Ellen, born 1669; Alexander, born 1671; Thomas, born 1673, and William, born 1675. Eleanor died on August 27, 1676, at the age of 39.
The following year on February 21, 1677, Samuel married Patricia Barstow Simmons. They had four children by their marriage: Eleanor, born 1679; the earlier child must have died; Samuel, born 1680; Josiah, born 1682; and Thomas, born 1684. Samuel died in 1714 and is buried in Marshfield Cemetery located outside of Boston.
An added footnote concerns the Winslow's. Eleanor's Uncle Edward came over on the Mayflower and became governor of the colony. The Winslow House still stands in Boston. Eleanor's father, Kenelm, came to the colony in 1633. It was his furniture that Alexander Baker transported to America on the Elizabeth Ann. Their children later married.

William Baker, Sr., born in 1675 is the next in the line of the Leslie County Bakers. He married Mary Corbie, born November 13, 1691, in East Haddam, Connecticut, November 13, 1710. At some point after their marriage they moved to Chester, Pennsylvania, where their children were born. They were: Thomas, born January 8, 1711; William Jr.; Hannah; Josiah; Mary; and Frances. At some point in time he moved to Orange County, Virginia, and some sources say he served in the Virginia House of Burgesses. He died in 1748.

Thomas Baker, grew up in Virginia and met and married Dorothy Davenport of Hanover County, Virginia, 1734. She was born November 2, 1716, and was the daughter of Martin and Dorothy Glover Davenport. Note: Naming a daughter after the mother must have been a custom of the Davenport family as will be seen later. Their marriage produced 13 children. They were: William, born 1735; Thomas II, born 1737; Mary, born 1739; Martin, born 1741; Cortia, born 1743;-Josiah, born 1745; Henry, born 1747; David, born 1749; Dorothy, born 1751; Richard, born 1753; James, born 1755; John, born May4, 1758; and Charles, born 1762.
Thomas and his wife lived in both Virginia and North Carolina or at least had a North Carolina connection. Yet when the Revolutionary War started he was in Virginia. He and his sons were active in the Revolutionary War. Although Thomas didn't serve, he made gunpowder for the Army. At least three of his sons' actively served. Captain Richard Baker, Captain John Baker, and Corporal David Baker crossed the Delaware with General Washington to fight the Hessians at the Battle of Trenton. There were many casualties on both sides, one of which was Captain Richard Baker. He had been killed on December 26, 1776. The remaining two survived the war, but Thomas didn't. His gunpowder factory exploded, and he died in Culpepper, Virginia, on January 10, 1777, just two weeks after Richard's death. He probably hadn't received word yet which was a blessing.

Soon after Thomas' death, his wife, Dorothy, along with her sons, James, Charles, and John, moved to Morgantown, North Carolina. It is John Baker who is next in line for the Leslie County Bakers. He met his future wife there, and shortly thereafter married Elizabeth Ann Norfleet, who was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Reddick Norfleet of Chowan County, North Carolina.
John and Elizabeth Ann (called Nancy) were married around 1777. Their children were John, Jr.; Thomas; Isaac; Nancy; William; Ann; Lucinda; Robert; James; Wilson; and Joseph. John was a captain in the 77th North Carolina Regiment joining on November 28, 1776. As stated previously he was with Washington on Christmas Day when they crossed the Delaware. In the North Carolina list of Revolutionary soldiers, it shows that he was granted a patent on 1,462 acres of land because he served 32 months. In 1811 he took his family to Kentucky and ended up in the Cutshin area in what is now Leslie County.

John Baker, Jr. was born around 1777 in New River, Ashe County, North Carolina. He married twice and had a large family. His first wife was Sarah Alpha, born in 1778. His second wife was Chloe McIntosh, daughter of Roderick McIntosh and sister of Rory. She was born in the Scottish Highlands in 1773 and came to America with her family in 1782. They had ten children. She and John, Jr., moved to Bakersville, North Carolina, in the early 1800s.
About 1809 or 1810 John, Jr.; his son, Wilson; and Roderick "Rory" McIntosh traveled on packhorses to Kentucky looking for places to settle. Rory staked out a piece of property in what would later be known as McIntosh Creek in then Perry County, but later Leslie County. They returned to North Carolina to report to their respective families. The following year the Baker family, the McIntosh family, and several others sold their land in North Carolina, bought supplies, and left for Kentucky. Their livestock lived off the wild grass, clover, and pea vine found along the trail. The families lived on game, and the supplies they carried with them.
The group reached the North Fork of the Kentucky River in 1811. They hurriedly made camp and that night John, Jr., and Chloe's son, Isaac, was born. The families had planned to go farther, but fever and sickness struck many, and they decided to stay as a group until all were able to travel. They cleared four acres near present-day Hazard, planted crops, and built temporary shelters. It took two years for all to get well. By that time some families decided to stay in that area, but most of the Bakers and McIntosh’s moved on. One of the Baker boys was said to have built a cabin in what is now Hazard, and it became the first boardinghouse there. Later, the Hurst Hotel was built on that spot.
Some settled in Cutshin and on McIntosh Creek. John, Jr., and Chloe settled on First Creek in Perry County, but later moved to Cutshin. Besides Isaac, and not necessarily in the order of birth, they had Wilson, John Jackson, Rebecca, Elizabeth (Betsy), Nancy, Mary Polly, Jane (Jenny), Rachel, and Sarah “Sally." John Jr. was murdered at age 66 in an unusual manner. On the night of March 8, 1843, white sleeping alongside the riverbank, two of his slaves chopped off his head with an axe. The two slaves were hanged at Cutshin. John, Jr., is buried in Leslie County.

John Jackson Baker, born in Burke County, North Carolina, June 13, 1792, met and married Mary "Polly" Campbell. She was born at Wallens Creek, Ashe County, North Carolina, in 1795. She was the daughter of John Campbell and Mary Polly Couch. They married in Clay County, Kentucky, February 22 1816, and had nine children. They were Elizabeth and Virginia, born 1818; Nancy, born 1820; Christopher, born 1821; Sarah "Sally," born 1824; Wilson, born 1825; John Jackson, Jr., born 1826; Larkin, born 1827; and Henderson born 1828. (NOTE; Wilson Baker's daughter Nancy, born 1857 married Nick Schell.  This is where the connection to Jim's family name is made.)
After a divorce John Jackson married Rachel Fields on May 8, 1833, in Perry County. Rachel, born in 1808 in Clairborne, Tennessee, was the daughter of John Fields and Eliza Bailey. John and Rachel had ten children together. They were William, born 1831; Polly, born 1834; James, born 1936; Abby, born 1838; Lucinda, born 1841; Rachel and Tabitha "Berth," born 1845; Rebecca, born 1847; Nancy, born 1849; and Russell, born 1854. John died June 1887 on Cutshin Creek, Leslie County, Kentucky, at the age of 95.

It is from the offspring of John, Jr's children that many of the Bakers of Leslie and Perry Counties have sprung. To aid The Kentucky Explorer's readers, the following is furnished:
Isaac married Elizabeth (Eliza Jane) Griffith; Wilson married Polly Combs, then Sarah Sally Fields; John Jackson married Mary Polly Campbell, then Rachel Fields; Rebecca married Adam Campbell, then Elijah Campbell; Elizabeth married William Campbell; Nancy married Roderick McIntosh; Mary Polly married Isaac Campbell, then Roe Campbell; Jane married Henry Feltner; Rachel married James Testical Campbell; and Sarah (Sally) married William Begley.
One interesting note: Mary Polly married Chloe McIntosh's brother, Roderick "Rory" McIntosh, who was 21 years older than she, and she had four more children by him. They were: Susan, Margaret, Peggy, James, and Mary Polly. That makes the children of both marriages half-brothers and sisters. It gives them common great aunts and uncles as well as grandparents.
This takes the Baker line far enough forward to allow anyone interested to research their particular line. The Perry County Library at Hazard has an extensive section on the early settlers of both Perry and Leslie Counties. I encourage anyone interested to include this facility in their research endeavors because my wife, Pauline, had done considerable research into my family tree.

John Jackson Baker, Jr., son of John Jackson continues the Baker line.  He was born February 18, 1826, in Perry County, Kentucky. He married Sarah Maggard, born February 10, 1835, who was the daughter of John Benjamin Maggard and Sarah Maggard. They married about 1854. Their children were William, born 1854; Henry, born 1856; Sarah, born 1860; Polly, born 1862; Nancy, born 1864; and Rebecca, born 1866.
William Baker, a farmer on Wooton's Creek, was married three times. His first wife was Mary Polly Cornett. She was the daughter of Archibald Cornett and Juda Isaac. Wilson and John Jackson Baker continue the Baker line. Isaac married Eliza Jane or Elizabeth Griffith in 1828. Children by that marriage were John, David, Manerva, William, Cyhthia, Martha, Henry, and Maggie. Wilson married Polly Combs, but research has failed to show any children from that marriage. He then married Eliza Jane Fields and together they had Mary, Jackson William, Polly, Roderick, Jane, John, Rachel, and Robert.
David R. Caudill
3382 Clover Road
Bethel, OH 46103

November 3, 2008

The Giant of the Mountains

Michelle gave me some information a few days ago about Jim's family tree.  I have been looking to see if I could find anything to add to it.  So far, I have found more information on the CHURCH branch of his tree than any of the other lines.

There appears to be at least one very interesting character in his ancestry.  I have found several Internet pages that mention Jim's G-G-G-G-Grandfather Gabriel Church.  Here are a few excerpts...

From An Economic and Social Survey of Wise County, Virginia By Ralph Emerson Kennedy
The first settler on Powells River was Gabriel Church, known as the Giant of the Mountains. He settled on Roaring Fork, and it is told how he would shoot a deer, tie its legs together and hunt all day with it swung around him.

I imagine Gabriel probably looked something like this  drawing of an anonymous Mountain Man:

Gabriel was said to be a fine poet and balladeer. At least one song that he wrote has been preserved.  A few verses of his song "Poor Goins" are listed in these books:

The full lyrics of "Poor Goins", as well as an audio recording of the song done by a couple of  Gabriel's great-nephews, can be found at the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum website.  NOTE: You will need the Real Player plugin to be able to listen to the song.

October 7, 2008

Trick Photography

Michelle sent me this photo of the Schell Family recently.  It is supposed to be from 50 years or more ago.  What I can't figure out did Justin get right there in the middle of the photo?

Click on the photo to view a larger version.

Michelle will have to let us know who everyone is in the picture.

September 22, 2008

Family Resemblance

In a previous post I mentioned Randy Ratliff's ancestor, Winright Adkins 1837 and how he was related to Jennie's ancestor, another Winright Adkins 1825.  The following is information on the family of Randy's ancestor:

Winright ADKINS was born 1837  in Pike County, Kentucky, and died 1918.  He was buried in Winright Adkins Cemetery, Pike Co, Kentucky. He was the son of Winston ADKINS and Hannah COLEMAN.
Louisa EPLING was born 10 JAN 1845 in Pike County, Kentucky, and died 1 FEB 1927  in Pike County, Kentucky. She was buried in Winright Adkins Cemetery, Pike Co, Kentucky. She was the daughter of Zebekiah EPLING.
Children of Louisa EPLING and Winright ADKINS are:   
  1. Perry ADKINS. He married Mero ABSHIRE. 
  2. Tom ADKINS. He married Lillie BARTLEY. 
  3. Floy ADKINS. He married Laura BARTLEY. 
  4. John H. ADKINS. He married Libbie COLEMAN. 
  5. Jim ADKINS. He married Bessie THORNSBURY. (Randy Ratliff's Great Grandparents) 
  6. Alcie ADKINS. She married David COX, son of John COX and Amanda Judy ADKINS. He was born 1863 in Pike County, Kentucky. 
  7. Clarinda Addie ADKINS was born 1871 in Pike County, Kentucky, and died 14 DEC 1897 in Pike County, Kentucky. She married William Drayton KENDRICK 10 DEC 1891 in Pike Co, Ky, son of Joseph Browning KENDRICK and Charity HART. He was born 5 DEC 1865 in Russell Co, Virginia, and died 4 AUG 1945 in Greasy Creek, Pike Co, KY. 
  8. Laura ADKINS died 1910 in Pike County, Kentucky. She married McCelland JUSTICE. 
  9. Ida ADKINS. She married Ol COLEMAN 21 APR 1898 in Pike Co, KY. He was born 7 OCT 1876  in Pike County, Kentucky, and died 14 JUL 1955 in Pike County, Kentucky. 
  10. Hannah ADKINS. She married Andy LONG. 
  11. Dulcie ADKINS. She married Crit MAY. He was born 3 MAY 1886, and died 9 JAN 1968.
  12. Meshac ADKINS.

While searching around the Internet for more information on this family, I ran across a page with Dulcie Adkins and Crit May's Family Photos. Dulcie was the younger sister of Jim Adkins and would have been Randy's Great Aunt.  Here are a few of the photos from that web-page:
This is Dulcie at age eight.  Does she remind you of any of the guinea girls or guinea grandkids?

Here is Dulcie four years later.  Any resemblance now to anyone you know?

One more before we quit.  This is a gathering of Crit May's family in 1930.  Does the young lady in the upper left look like anyone you know?

September 8, 2008

Interesting Reading

If you've never tried Google Book Search you really should check it out.  I've found lots of good stuff using it.  I recently found a very interesting report from the U.S. Geological Service published in 1908.   It is titled...



I know what you are thinking, "Clyde has lost his freakin' mind!  How can a century old government report about coal possibly be interesting?

I must admit it isn't bestseller material and it is kinda' boring reading in stretches.  It is a government report after all.  But sprinkled here and there are familiar place names.  Here are places listed in the Table of Contents;
Powell Creek and Millard Biggs Branch
Daniels Creek Harless Creek
Jimmie Creek Road Creek
Ferrell Creek Beaver Creek
Grassy Creek Marrowbone Creek
Pond and Jesse Creeks Little Creek and Moores Branch
Elkhorn Creek

I know what you are thinking, "Yeah, yeah, that's where many of us grew up.  We've heard those names all our lives.  But I still don't want to waste my time reading about a 21 inch seam of coal on Daniels Creek located at an elevation of 975 feet. Blah, blah, blaaah, blah, blah."

OK, I admitted it was kinda' dry reading in places, but consider the following entry from the bottom of Page 43 about coal deposits on Road Creek...

No, that isn't the Joe Looney you knew.  Remember this was published in 1908.  It is based on field work done in 1906.  The Joe Looney mentioned here is Great-Grandpa Joe Looney.

A little farther up Road Creek we find on Page 44...

That name may not be familiar to some of you.  Marshall Farmer was a brother to our Great- Grandmother Mary Farmer who married George Stalker.  Dad says they pronounced his name MASH' ul.

Farther up the river is Pond Creek and Jesse Branch.  On the bottom of Page  62 we find...

John Hawkins was a brother of Martha (Hawkins) Bailey, our Great-Great-Grandmother.   Grant Hawkins was John's son and Martha's nephew. 

In the discussion of coal in the head of Elkhorn Creek we find the following on Page 68...

The Levi Potter and Ben Potter mentioned here are most likely uncles or cousins of Ted Potter's Great-Grandfather William.  The John Wright mentioned is almost certainly the famous 'Bad John Wright'.
There are lots of other names mentioned that could be related to us in some way.  George Belcher mentioned several times in the discussion of Ferrells Creek may be Squire George that married Martha Bailey's daughter Mary Alice, but I don't know for sure.   The many Coleman, Ratliff, Mullins and other names mentioned are, quite likely, distant relatives.  

Interesting isn't it, all that coal under land owned or worked by our forefathers, and the only coal money we got is what Dad earned working in the mines for Republic Steel. 

See, I told you it was interesting.

August 27, 2008

Dangerous Neighborhood

Looking over the 1920 Census for Letcher County, KY the other day, I ran across something I found interesting.  Here is a portion of one of the sheets for the Jenkins Precinct...

On line 3 of the list is John Wright residing in household number 583 with his wife Mattie and a son Carlos.    About five households farther down the page on line 20 is Sam Potter, his wife Belle, and their large family.  On line 28 we find five-year-old Ira Potter (Ted's father).

The John Wright on line 3 is better known as "Bad John Wright" to most and "Devil John Wright" to others. 

"Bad John" was one of the most famous, or infamous, men of the Kentucky mountains at the start of the 1900's.  The number of men he was said to have killed (25 to 30), the number of women he kept (?), and the number of children he fathered (31) are the stuff of legend.  A number of books have been written about "Bad John".   This Google Search lists several.

I just finished reading Bad John Wright: The Law of Pine Mountain By Phillip K Epling.  (Mr. Epling was from Elkhorn City.  His son Allan Epling was a science teacher at ECHS for a while.)  Mr. Epling's book is a somewhat sanitized account of the life of "Bad John", covering his Civil War experiences, his detective work after the war, and the Wright-Jones Feud.

Getting back to what I found interesting about that census page, I wonder of old "Bad John Wright" knew how dangerous it could be, living there so close to "Bad Ira Potter".

July 31, 2008

Which Winright Adkins did what?

You would think that a name like 'Winright' would not be all that common. If you ran across a reference to Winright Adkins in Pike County, KY in about 1880, why that must surely be the Winright that is Jennie's G-G-Grandfather.  How many Winrights could there be?
Well after a little digging, it appears there were at least seven or eight Winright Adkins living just in Pike County around the turn of the century.  The naming conventions that families followed in the 1800's, and the fact that families often had 15 to 20 children meant a lot of grandsons got named Winright.  It takes a program to keep them all straight. 
Three of the Winrights are significant in our family tree.  Winright Adkins who was born in 1775 was among the first settlers in Pike County.   His son Henry had a son born in 1825 whom he dutifully named Winright.  This Winright was Jennie's G-G-Grandfather.   Another of pioneer Winright's sons, Winston, had a son in 1837 whom he also named Winright.  This one was Randy Ratliff's G-G-Grandfather. 
This diagram might make that a little clearer...

In order to keep them straight I will try to include their birth year when referring to them.  Winright Adkins 1775 is the pioneer, Winright Adkins 1825 is Jennie's ancestor and Winright Adkins 1837 is Randy's.   Maybe that way it won't get so confusing when we talk about Winright Adkins 1825 killing Zachariah Phillips who was married to his first cousin Clarinda, a sister of Winright Adkins 1837.

July 15, 2008

An Uncle I Didn't Know About

While searching through the genealogy information available on the Internet recently, I ran across this document...

The database that led me to it listed the name as "Harsed Stalker" and I can see how the handwritten name could be interpreted that way.  This was, of course, a name I had never heard before.  The names of the father and mother were familiar to me though, Grandpa John Stalker and Grandma Angeline Bailey.  That made Harsed a brother to Dad and my uncle.

Looking at the document a little closer, it tells a sad story.  John and Angeline's third baby boy was born February 19, 1927 and died a few days later on February 28th.  That's nine days the way I count them but the certificate lists his age as 11 days.  Doc Deskins from Elkhorn City (Praise at that time) recorded 'Pneumonia' as the cause and didn't elaborate farther.  I can't help but wonder if the cold February weather wasn't a contributing factor.

Dad had just turned two years old at this time and I wasn't sure he would know or remember anything about it.  As we drove to Prestonsburg the other day I asked him if he knew anything about Grandpa John and Grandma Angeline losing a baby that was just a few days old.

"Oh yeah, that was Harold", he replied. "When he died that made me the baby again.  Maggie and Homer used to say I was spoiled 'cause I was the baby twice.  He's buried up there on the Wilson Cemetery right near old man George Stalker."

Dad indicated he had thought about having a headstone made but he wasn't sure which of the several rocks that marked burial sites of Stalker children there was the one for baby Harold, so he never had.

June 25, 2008

Potter Reunion

This month's issue of the Kentucky Explorer magazine contains an announcement for the Potter Family Reunion coming up in August...

I'm sure that Ted is already planning to attend so he can meet and get reacquainted with many of his cousins, and maybe even an uncle or aunt or two.

Luci should consider attending  too.  She just might meet more of her  'In-Laws'... and some of her cousins, and maybe even an uncle or aunt or two.

Ted and Luci sure are making our family tree complicated.  Since Dad and Ted are 4th Cousins, as I understand the Cousin Chart, Ted and Luci are then 4th Cousins-once-removed.  I start to get really confused when it comes to Chris and Pat.  Are they just brothers or are they also Double 4th Cousins-once-removed?   Or is it twice removed?  Is a Double 4th Cousin the same as a 2nd Cousin? 

It's all too complicated for me.  I definitely think Ted and Luci need to attend this reunion and get their whole branch of the family tree down on paper.

May 21, 2008

Jane Marrs

Jane is Jennie's Great-Great-Grandmother. 
Jennie has this photo of Jane that her grandmother Pearlie left her...

Jane was Pearlie's grandmother.  Pearlie spent a lot of time with her growing up and loved to talk about her.  One of her favorite stories was about when Pearlie and Sollie,  Jennie's grandfather, got married.  They moved out into a little place of their own and Jane moved right along with them.

I haven't been able to find a lot of information about her yet but I did locate this newspaper clipping about her passing.  It is from the July 23, 1931 issue of the Pike County News. 

May 20, 2008

Registering for the Draft

The year is 1918 and World War I is raging in Europe.  Having entered the war the year before the United States finds itself in need of more soldiers.  A program of military conscription (Draft) is implemented and all across America young men  report to local Draft Boards to register.

On June 5th, 1918 one of those young men was 21 year old Ruey Ratliff from Millard, KY.  Here is an image of the draft registration card he signed that day...

Ninety years have passed and that draft card has gone from file drawer to microfilm roll and now to the Internet.   Those transitions have made it a little hard to read but it still tells us a lot about young Ruey Ratliff from Millard, KY.
  • His birth date was Feb. 11, 1897.
  • He was born at Millard, KY.
  • His fathers birthplace was Regina, KY.
  • He was employed by Winston Creek Coal Company at Regina.
  • His spouse was Grace Ratliff.
The back of the card tells us...
  • He was of medium height and slender build with brown eyes and black hair.
  • He had no disabilities.
Looking at the handwriting I suspect that the registrar, Mr. Bowles, filled out the card and gave it to Ruey to sign.  Ruey's signature looks different from all the other writing on the card, especially the capital R's.  The way the letters in his signature tilt to the left makes me wonder if he wasn't left-handed.

May 19, 2008

Naming Conventions

In looking back through the generations of our ancestors you notice pretty quickly that the same names appear over and over.  There are sure a lot of men named John, Joseph, George and William in our family tree.  For the women it's Elizabeth, Mary, Jane  or Sarah.

I recently ran across something that may explain some of this.  It was a tradition in many  families to follow a certain convention for naming their children.  There were variations in the conventions followed and some families followed more religiously than others it seems.  One of the most common conventions was as follows:

1st son = father's father
2nd son = mother's father
3rd son = father
4th son = father's oldest brother
5th son = father's 2nd oldest brother or mother's oldest brother

1st dau = mother's mother
2nd dau = father's mother
3rd dau = mother
4th dau = mother's oldest sister
5th dau = mother's 2nd oldest sister or father's oldest sister

It's interesting to look at 'what could have been' if Mom and Dad had followed tradition:
    • Being the 1st born and only son, I would have been named John.
    • Luci, being the 1st daughter, would have been Rachel.
    • Sherry would have been the only Angeline in school.
    • Jeffery would not have had a boy's name, she would be little Gertrude.
    • And since Mom didn't have any sisters, Michelle would have been named for Dad's oldest sister, Magaline.
Actually, I may like those names a little better.

April 29, 2008

Looney Creek Photos

I ran across a group of photos on flickr today that show Looney Creek and the area where Robert Looney 1692 operated a ferry, built a fort, etc.

The gentleman who posted the photos also has a website with lots of information about the Looney Family.

April 26, 2008

Cosby Cavins

I ran across this document this week at the local library...

This is the Certificate of Death for Cosby Cavins (Dad's Grandmother). It lists her parents as George Bailey and Martha Hawkins, both born in Virginia. It indicates that she died of TB on Feb. 5, 1915 at the age of 35.

The Elisha Hawkins who provided the information on the certificate and served as 'Undertaker' was probably a cousin. The certificate lists her 'Place of Burial or Removal' as Jesses Br. This would be the little cemetery that Dad, Luci, Jeff and others visited a few years ago. Dad says that both Cosby and her mother, Martha are buried there, along with several more Hawkins relatives.


April 25, 2008

Looney's Ferry

One of the landmarks on the Great Wagon Road from Philadelphia to the Carolinas was Looney's Ferry across the James River.

It is indicated on the 1751 Fry-Jefferson map depicting 'The Great Wagon Road to Philadelphia'.

I found it referenced in Emily McMullan Williams' account of John McMullan's Trek from VA:

The wagon trains moved slowly southwest from the counties of Rockingham (formed 1778), Augusta (1745), Rockbridge (1778), through Fincastle (1772-1777) and into Botetourt (1770). Reaching Looney's Ferry was a point of both anticipation and concern. Getting the horses onto the ferry could sometimes be difficult. Would the James River be frozen over? Would they have to wait a day or two for the right conditions to cross? Robert Looney operated the ferry and inn as early as 1745. The ferry license for this crossing was granted by the Orange Court at the time the road was blazed to wagon width.
Looney's Ferry is also mentioned in an article on the Birth of the Frontier Culture at the University of Virginia website...

In 1744 William Linville's father-in-law Morgan Bryan himself settled near his daughter and her husband. According to Moravian Leonhardt Grubb, who founded Bethabara (Winston-Salem, N.C.) in 1753, Bryan and William Linville were the first to take wagons from the 'Shanidore' to the 'Etkin' [Yadkin]" in 1748. It took them three months to get there. At one point Bryan even removed the wheels of his wagon and hauled it "peacemeal" to the top of a mountain.
Bryan wasn't ferried over James River as Moravian Lenohardt Grubb was in 1753 by Manxman Robert Looney, a Quaker from Conestoga Township, Pa. who prior to 1740 took his family from the Fairfax grant and established a mill on Looney's Creek. Bryan forded the river near where Moravians forded it in 1749 to the music of wolves, and where they found "few houses and no bread." When Grubb passed through in 1753 things had changed. Not only did Looney operate a ferry at Cherry Tree Botton (Buchanan, Va.), there was grain enough for Mrs. Looney to bake bread for the Moravians. Looney's decision to move to Cherry Tree Bottom may have been influenced in part by a 1749 flood that lifted the bed in which his wife and two of their children slept, and carried it about "until they woke up."
In addition to operating the ferry our ancestor Robert Looney and his sons ran an Inn where travelers could spend the night, operated a grist mill, farmed, hunted and explored the western frontier deep into indian territory. Due to the threat of Indian attack, a fort was ordered built in 1755 around the Looney homesite. This fort was named Fort Looney and was at the junction of Looney Creek and the James River. This fort was part of a series of forts ordered built along the frontier to protect settlers and to keep the French from claiming the territory. Fort Looney was visited in 1756 by Col. George Washington, future first president of the United States.
Robert Looney and his family defended the fort during the French and Indian War. George Washington references sending troops to the fort in some of his correspondence found in the National Archives. Fort Looney was also referenced in the writings of Col. John Buchanan in his letter of June 1756 to Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie. Col Buchanan wrote: "I have ordered ten men to Looney's Fort on James River." The importance of the fort diminished as the French and Indians were defeated and other more remote forts held the line. In 1758 it was renamed Fort Fauquier in honor of the newly arrived governor of the Colony.
The Looney house and parts of the original fort continued to stand until 1914. Two archaeological excavations were conducted at the "Fort Looney" site in 1968-69. The digs produced a number of artifacts and is discussed in an article by archelogist Howard A. MacCord, Sr. in the Quarterly Bulletin of The Archeological Society of Virginia, Vol. 26, No. 2, December 1971.

...A farm road perpendicular to the river leads from the high ground south of the river valley to the river bank at the western edge of the site. A corresponding road leads north from the north bank of the river. The river between the two ends of the road is still and deep, and here was the only suitable place for miles for ferrying across the river. The present farm roads are the survivors of the "Carolina Road" along which so many pioneers moved during the mid-18th Century, and the ferry is the well-known Looney's Ferry.
Because of the ideal topography of the site and its proximity to the road and ferry site, it was almost inevitable that the site would have been settled at an early date. While the earliest history of the site is unknown, it is certain that on July 30, 1742, Mr. Robert Looney patented the site. Presumably, he also kept a tavern for lodging and feeding the travelers using his ferry and the Carolina Road.
With the growing threat of Indian attacks in 1754-55, Looney was obliged to fortify his homestead. He probably had enough men (he had 5 grown sons) at the tavern-ferry to run the fort for routine guard duty, and he could count on neighbors and travelers to augment this force if an attack came. The fort was already in existence in 1755 and was called Fort Looney. Apparently the fort was never attacked, possibly because it was too strong. In 1758 the fort at Looney's ferry was renamed Fort Faquier in honor of the newly arrived Governor of the Colony. The subsequent history of the fort is uncertain. We know that Robert Looney died in 1769, and one son (Absalom) pioneered into Tazwell County (Stoner, 1962). Looney's house continued to stand, with additions and changes until about 1914, when it was torn down. A solitary pear tree still stands as an indicator that the site was formerly a homestead. In addition, there are people in the neighborhood who can remember the house. The site is now a plowed field, and such debris from more than 175 years of occupation still litters the ground. Where the house formerly stood, the soil is filled with bricks and stones from the old foundations.
Today, the site of "Fort Looney" is found 15 miles west of Buchanan, VA, and .4 miles east of the crossing of the James River by Interstate 81. There is a historic sign on Route 11 just outside of Buchanan marking the spot. 

April 14, 2008

The Great Indian Warpath

The Great Indian Warpath — also known as the Great Indian War and Trading Path, or the Seneca Trail — was that part of the network of trails in eastern North America developed and used by Native Americans which ran through the Great Appalachian Valley.

The Great Valley, also called the Great Appalachian Valley or Great Valley Region, is one of the major landform features of eastern North America. It is a gigantic trough — a chain of valley lowlands — and the central feature of the Appalachian Mountain system. The trough stretches about 700 miles from Canada to Alabama and has been an important north-south route of travel since prehistoric times.

For white immigrants the Great Valley was a major route for settlement and commerce in the United States along the Great Wagon Road, which began in Philadelphia. In the Shenandoah Valley the road was known as the Valley Pike. The Wilderness Road branched off from the Great Wagon Road at present-day Roanoke, Virginia crossed the Cumberland Gap and led to Kentucky and Tennessee, especially the fertile Bluegrass region and Nashville Basin. Another branch at Roanoke, called the "Carolina Road" led into the Piedmont regions of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Scot-Irish and German settlers traveling down the Wilderness Trail entered Botetourt County VA northeast of present day Buchanan, fording the James River at ferries located in the area. They were following the old Indian trails used for hunting and fighting. The trail followed present day US Route 11 from the Buchanan area through the eastern part of the county, exiting south of Cloverdale. Many of these travelers, seeing the fertile valleys, rolling hillsides and plentiful natural resources, settled in the region, with the first community life being documented in the 1740s. By the 1770s the population was sufficient to create a county government system. Descendants of many of these early families have remained in Botetourt County to the present day, helping to develop the business, industry and commerce that made Botetourt County a thriving community over the past two centuries.

Located near the base of Purgatory Mountain at a bend in the James River was Looney's Ferry, the earliest known ferry crossing in the region. Established around 1742, the ferry license was granted to John Patton (for whom the town of Pattonsburg was named) as a crossing point on the James River of the Wilderness Trail. The Ferry was operated by Robert Looney, who lived nearby. Near this location was established Fort Fauquier (1758), earlier referred to as Looney's Fort, that was established to protect local residents from attacks by Shawnee Indians.

SOURCES: Wikipedia and Botetourt County Tourism.

April 7, 2008

Census Data 1910

I'm still tinkering with the genealogy of our family. I've actually been able to find a lot more about Jennie's ancestors than I have about ours. I need to get with Willie one of these days and see what he has gathered.

I did run across something interesting today. Here is part of a page from the 1910 Census for Pike County, Magisterial District 8 Precinct 13. (NOTE: It will soon be a hundred years since it was written.)

It's difficult to read but the census taker has recorded the members of what he listed as family number 297. It included:
Name Relation Sex Race Age MaritalStatus
Bailey MarthaHead of Household
Cavins CosbyDaughter
Bailey AngelineGrand daughter
Bailey ArdalineGrand daughter
Bailey DeliaGrand daughter
Bailey MaryGrand daughter
Cavins RachelGrand daughter
Cavins EuniceGrand daughter

I can't imagine what it must have been like for Martha Bailey, 70 years old, widowed, living with her daughter, also a widow, and six grand daughters and trying to survive in rural Kentucky in 1910. I'm sure young 12 year old Angeline had her childhood cut short, having to help with all those little sisters.

Part of what I found interesting is that immediately following is family number 298 ...
Name Relation Sex Race Age Marital Status
Stalker GeorgeHead of Household
-------- MaryWife
-------- MalissaDaughter
-------- RissieDaughter
-------- FrankSon
-------- JaneDaughter
-------- JohnSon
-------- ClarenceSon
-------- LilburnSon
-------- LizaDaughter
-------- WalterSon

I am embarrassed to admit that I had no idea Grandma Angeline and Grandpa John Stalker had grown up living in close proximity, if not side by side. The census doesn't indicate how far apart their two households were.

I also hadn't realized she was older than him. The ages in these census records have to be taken with a grain of salt though. Great Grandpa Joseph Looney is shown as being 25 years old in the 1880 census but, 20 years later he has aged 25 years and is recorded as being 50 in the 1900 census.

April 6, 2008

Genealogy Gems

Lately I've been playing around, looking into genealogy a little bit. There is a lot of information available on the Internet and in the local library. Most of what you find though is something like this ...

Mary Thacker 1874 m 1894 David Coleman

Sometimes, if you're lucky, you find a little more ...

Mary Thacker was born Nov. 8, 1874 Pike, KY. Married Sept. 13, 1894, to David (Dave)Coleman. He was born July 10,1875

Every now and then you run across a real gem like this...


Mary Thacker was born Nov. 8, 1874 at Upper Pompey Creek. She was married at her parents home, on Sept. 13, 1894, to David (Dave)Coleman. He was born July 10,1875, a son of Riley Coleman and Lucy Ramey. Mary and Dave resided at Upper Pompey Creek, where they became the parents of five children. Dave supported his family by farming and logging. He and Mary attended the Primitive Baptist Church. Mary died Mar. 16, 1908 at the age of thirty-three, and was buried in the Coleman Family Cemetery at Lower Pompey Creek. When her father died in 1913, Dave paid a sum of one hundred dollars to Florina (Riney) and Bill Coleman, Elisha and Nancy Jane Thacker, Hibbard and Maggie Thacker, Isaac and Darcus Thacker, and Sophia and George Daniels for Mary's part of the estate. It was lot number three located on Upper Pompey Ck., next to the Nathaniel Coleman farm. On Nov. 20, 1914, he purchased an additional tract from Isaac and Darcus Thacker, for a sum of twenty- five dollars. Dave was remarried Sept. 30, 1909, to Eliza Blackburn, and lived until June 19, 1933. Before his death, he had requested to be buried beside Mary in the Coleman Family Cemetery, but Eliza had him buried in the Blackburn Family Cemetery on Levisa Fork. Thirty-one years later, when this area became part of the Fishtrap Reservoir, and all the bodies were taken up and relocated for reinterment, David and Mary's children had his remains placed in the Coleman Cemetery beside their mother, for his final resting place.

Ella Victoria Coleman b. Apr.24, 1896; d.Jan.30, 1974; m. Oct.31,1912 Peter Daniels b.Jan.26, 1886; d. Aug. 30, 1979. Son of Sam Daniels and Elizabeth Adkins. Ella and Peter resided at Raccoon Creek and later moved to Louisville, KY.

Riley Coleman b. Sept. 29, 1897; d. Sept. 26, 1967; m. Dec. 25, 1924 Carrie Adkins b. Sept.11, 1905; d. Oct. 16, 1993. Daughter of Hayse Adkins and Martha Justice. Riley and Carrie resided on Russell Fk. of Big Sandy River, near Daniels Creek.

Green Coleman b. Dec. 4, 1900. Died during the influenza epidemic of 1918.

George Coleman b.Oct.30,1902;d.Jan.4,l991;m.Feb. 10, 1933 Bertha Thackerb. Sept. 15,1911; d. Feb. 4, 2000. Daughter of Elisha Thacker and Anna Kendrick. George and Bertha resided at Raccoon Creek ,where they owned and operated a country store. See Index.

Anthony Coleman b. Mar. 26, 1905; d. Apr. 26, 1982; m. Sept. 16, 1926 Bessie Justice b. Nov. 8, 1905; d. Aug. 1, 1983. Daughter of Albert Justice and Dorcas Thacker. Anthony and Bessie resided at Upper Pompey Creek, and later moved to Ratliffs Creek.

The young boy in the upper right of the photo was Aunt Hula's father Riley Coleman, Patty, Randy and Sandra's grandfather. This information is from a book entitled "THACKERS OF PIKE COUNTY KENTUCKY" by Glen Adkins & Paul Chaney. It is not available on the internet, as far as I know, but can be purchased from Glen Adkins, Phone (606)432-5418. I don't know what it costs, I borrowed a copy from a friend.

April 2, 2008

Uncle Dow Chaney

Sherry - Ask Dad if this looks like his Uncle Dow Chaney?

Dad said his initials were L. D. and this is supposed to be Lorenza Dow Chaney. I'm just not sure if it is the right L. D. Chaney.

April 1, 2008

About This Site

The Who, What, Where, When and Why of Diggin' Up Bones....


The people found in the postings here will be ancestors or relatives of the families that frequent the StalkerClan. There will be quite a bit of information about the ADKINS, JUSTICE and LOONEY families because there have been books written about them. I hope to find some information on the many other families that we call relatives. A list of surnames for this site could grow quite long and may someday include BAILEY, CHARLES, CHILDERES, FARMER, HAWKINS, HERRING, JONES, MARRS, MATNEY, MULLINS, PHILLIPS, POTTER, RATLIFF, SMITH, WALKER and many more.


I am mostly interested in stories about our ancestors lives, where and how they lived, what they did for a living, any historic events they took part in or witnessed, their triumphs and their tragedies. I will include genealogical data when I find it and will try to give credit to the researcher who compiled it. Personally though, I am not so much interested in the date someone was born and the date he died as I am in what happened between those two dates.


Here, of course. I am also trying to compile separate data pages for some of the families on our family tree. I am maintaining an index to the currently available family pages at Diggin' Up Bones - Family Pages.


Oh, ... whenever. Whenever I find something interesting. Whenever I find the time. Actually, I would like to be able to post at least one story a week, that would allow us to do something I'll talk about in the last paragraph.


Because I got interested in this stuff and found a lot of interesting information available on the Internet and...


OK, I know some of these stories would fit on the SeriouslyLooney site, in fact the first few are some I copied from there. I still want to try to get away from Zoomshare if I can though. I would like to turn the SchellShocked site over to Michelle someday, even though she seems to have gotten hooked on MySpace. I hope someday to have enough stories to be able to turn them into a book like was done with 'Remember When' and 'When Its Family'. If we can come up with about one story a week, and if Luci will someday retire and help me, we could maybe put a book together in about five years, maybe ten. Having the stories on a separate website will make that a lot easier to do.